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Novell Discontinues Support for SUSE Linux 9.2

Some Linux distributions have longer lives than others.

After two years of supported life, Novell is discontinuing support for SUSE Linux 9.2, effective yesterday. Its closest competitor, Red Hat's Fedora Core 3, which was released at roughly the same time as SUSE Linux 9.2, remains supported.

"With today's release of "pam_ldap" we discontinue the security support for SUSE Linux 9.2," SUSE developer Marcus Meissner wrote in a mailing list posting.

"It [SUSE Linux 9.2] was the first release featuring Delta RPMs, making downloads of patches even smaller than with the Patch RPMs we used before."

SUSE Linux 9.2 was announced in October 2004 with availability beginning in November 2004. It was one of the last distributions from Novell before shifting to the OpenSUSE community-driven effort in 2005.

SUSE Linux and its OpenSUSE-based successors are not enterprise releases and have generally followed a six-month release cycle. Novell's enterprise releases have an 18-month release cycle and are accompanied by at least five years of support.

The current OpenSUSE release is version 10.1, with 10.2 in active development.

The next SUSE Linux release to hit its end of life support will be SUSE Linux 9.3, which will "die" in April, also after a life of two years.

Red Hat's Fedora Core releases, in contrast, seem to have a longer supported life span than Novell's SUSE Linux releases, though Fedora's longevity has more to do with community support rather than explicit Red Hat support. The main Fedora Project support for Fedora Core release is typically about a year.

Fedora Core 3 is currently being supported by the Fedora Legacy project, which provides community support for those distributions that the main Fedora Project no longer maintains.

The Fedora Project will typically maintain the current version (now Fedora Core 6) and its immediate predecessor (Fedora Core 5). Previous versions revert to Fedora Legacy for support.

The Fedora Legacy effort has been active for nearly three years, providing support for older Fedora versions, as well as legacy Red Hat Linux distributions. When Red Hat discontinued support for Red Hat Linux 7.1, 7.2, 7.3 and 8 in 2004, Fedora Legacy stepped in to support them.

Fedora Legacy still supports Red Hat Linux 7.3, which was released back in 2002, though not for much longer.

The Fedora Legacy project stopped accepting bugs for Red Hat Linux 7.3 in October of this year and will attempt to resolve all existing bugs by December 31.

"What hasn't been completed by then will not be completed by the Fedora Legacy Project," The Fedora Legacy Web site states. "This will be the complete end of Fedora Legacy's support of the Red Hat Linux line of distributions.

"We will continue focusing our efforts on the Fedora Core line and improving our integration with the Fedora Project in whole."